Day 3 – Sunday, August 2

Jet and Eric are cool little kids. They came out with their folks to training camp and got the thrill of a lifetime when Peyton Maning waved them over to catch some fade routes in the end zone. The crowd oohed and ahhed as the 11 and 12 year olds caught and dropped touchdown passes. The crowd was clearly distracted from a $3 million football competition happening one field away.

Will the Broncos carry three kickers with 3 million bucks going to Britton Colquitt?  Karl Schmitz’s story is remarkable and he’s trying to make it interesting. He was a YouTube and kicking camp sensation plucked from obscurity by Broncos Special Teams coach Joe DeCamillis. Schmitz went to college and didn’t play football. He has been working in his father’s meat shop for the past couple of years while working out diligently as a distance kicker AND punter. Why Britton Colquitt can’t kick off is beyond me.  Almost all of these kickers have a soccer background where a 60-70 yard kick isn’t all that difficult. But, who am I to ask such complicated questions?

When given the chance to punt, Schmitz has been high inconsistent. There are moments of high-arching brillance, but those are mixed in with moments of…. eh….. Britton Colquitt is simply money each and every kick. He’s a pro’s pro who came from kicking royalty and has all the well-earned confidence in the world. But, let me repeat, this is a $3 million decision. When the Broncos let Matt Prater go after discovering he was an alcoholic, they went into this bizarre kicking tailspin when it became obvious that Brandon McManus just couldn’t kick field goals under pressure. I can’t even imagine McManus kicking extra points when they back that puppy up. McManus went 2-for-4 today missing what should be a slam dunk extra point. Winning the lottery is more reliable than McManus kicking field goals.

“I think you are always hoping that you can get it done with the two (kickers), but you have to do what you have to do.  We’ll see what happens. I don’t know,” stated head coach Gary Kubiak. Nothing like evaluating a position battle stating, “I don’t know.” However, that’s the truest statement that can be made in this highly tenous situation.

So it was cute watching the kiddies catch passes. Like a magician, the Broncos were waving one hand in the air while the other hand was stealing your watch.

I like camp fights. Everybody likes camp fights. I would pay more money to see good camp fights than Ronda Rousey smacking the crap out of some Brazillian big mouth. Ryan Harris, who got his second day of right tackle starting in a row, pushed soon-to-be-suspended Derek Wolfe after a play was done. Wolfe sized him up and talked some smack. Harris responded with his mouth and Wolfe responded with a fist. It was as loud, semi-connecting roundhouse. Harris responded – sort of. They tussled for a couple of seconds and then it was done. YES!!!! First fight of camp!!!! I’m counting it even though my cyncial media members surrounding me dismissed the action. I don’t care – I like huge men and violence! Wait, that sounds wrong.

Listen the paces of this new offense are inherently boring so any action is deeply appreciated. True, Manning hit Emanual Sanders deep for a crowd-pleasing touchdown. Also, Northwestern star Trevor Siemian drilled my main man Jordan Taylor with a deep TD throw, but other than that, yikes….. zzzzzzzzzzz…….  Welcome to running the ball football.  This is a world born for a guy like Joe Don Duncan, whom C.J. Anderson said just “hit somebody in the mouth.” This is a world that 17-13 football games that fly by are found well in stock. Passing yards will be down. Touchdowns will be down. Time is gonna fly by as we run, run, run the ball. This is what Peyton Manning has signed up for.

Does it sound like fun?

The Broncos haven’t had a fullback on the team for the past few years. The closest thing they’ve had is Virgil Green. Let me tell you my friends, Virgil ain’t no fullback no mo! James Casey is a fullback/hback and so is Joe Don Duncan. Juwan Thompson can fill that role too. It is a young, inexperienced offensive line with an elderly, hall of fame, immobile QB. There is gonna be a lot of help for Tyler Sambraillo, who will definitely be the starting left tackle. There will be assistance aplenty for whoever the right tackle happens to be. That position for the past two days has been filled by Ryan Harris, but we are a long way from cementing that spot. Ben Garland is an awesome story and I swear I don’t hate America by stating that he will get mauled if he’s the starting left guard. The one-on-one drills today showed that he just won’t be able to be that every play sort of guard. His replacement most likely will be Max Garcia.

Garcia isn’t a Disney story.  Garcia is a road grater from a big school that has paved his way to the NFL in very typical style. Hey, man, I’m all for keeping Ben around because he is the definition of grit; he’s just not the definition of talent. But, grit goes a long way and has given him the best shot of his life to fulfill his dreams. When the change happens – and it will happen – just know that Ben Garland is a hero – period.

Gary Kubiak sort of announced that Monday would be the first day of full pads and that Manning would be taking a day off.  This is part of the “Rest Manning” plan that has been in full-effect so far. Brock is taking plenty of snaps and looking extremely mediocre. On a day with the Hall of Famer watching from the sidelines, with decisions to be made in terms of how far they want to take the Brock experiment, Broncos fans will get a firm idea of what Brock is made of. I’m sure Manning will be quietly fuming that he’s not playing and the pressure should make for a fascinating day. If you are coming to camp to see a Hall of Famer play, you are out of luck.  f you are coming to camp because you are curious about the future of the team – Monday will be your day.

Oh, by the way – I got a great parking pass.  I know I should be riding my bike, but now I can walk less.  So…..